Canadian artist Jarus has become known worldwide for his larger than life murals that are popping up on every corner of the globe. In his debut solo exhibition Inertia which opened at Inner State earlier this year, Jarus created new works showcasing a masterful blend of charcoal, spray paint, pastels and acrylic, the latter is highlighted in his epic Inertia Editions featuring Boxcar, Caboose and Gondola. All 3 are also available in limited quantities in a 3-print set. Read on as we caught up with this prolific freight muralist and graffiti writer as he finds himself juxtaposing his arresting portraits of both people and freights effortlessly, regardless of the medium.
1x: Tell us a little bit about these pieces?
Jarus: I’ve been drawing cartoons of train-sized people interacting with freight trains for a while and have been painting large scale portraits and figures on freight trains illegally in the past. These pieces allowed me to use a variety of mediums to create some fun fantasy/train art that can all be connected together like a train.
1x: Were these pieces part of a recent theme, series or show that you had?
Jarus: They were part of my solo show Inertia alongside Kwest and Persue. I felt like trains fit the stop and go particulars of the word inertia perfectly.
1x: What materials were used to create these pieces with?
Jarus: Acrylic, spray paint, chalk pastel and pencil crayon.
1x: When were these pieces created and how long did they take to complete?
Jarus: These were all created during my residency with 1xRUN prior to our show. I created all 9 pieces for the show in those twenty days before the show.
1x: Is there anything immediate you would like us to highlight?
Jarus: People have asked me to do a print release for a while, but it’s rare that I’m comfortable showcasing/selling artwork. So these pieces are a fun way people can access some of my work for the first time.
1x: Tell us a bit abut your process and how the idea and execution came about for these works?
Jarus: I photograph trains and people separately and try to create the same lighting scenarios in both, then I use my artwork to attach them together in a fluid and natural way.
1x: What is it about your work that you feel resonates with people?
Jarus: Maybe it’s the fact that people can appreciate the techniques I use in a way that reflects the subcultures I am a part of (the freight train graffiti and street art etc.) as well as maybe they can relate to my subjects (young women from the 21st century.)
1x: Describe these pieces in one gut reaction word.
1x: When did you first start making art?
Jarus: My grandma taught me to paint from life with watercolors from the age of five and I continued to have an interest in art throughout school and started painting graffiti and murals in high school.
1x: Do you remember what your first piece was?
Jarus: There is a watercolor my grandma has that I did of my grandpa fishing in a red boat.
1x: Which artists did you draw inspiration from early on?
Jarus: So many early on, but to name a few: Aryz, Audrey Kawasaki, Kenichi Hoshine, Kwest, El Mac Jeremy Lipking and so many others.
1x: Which artists inspire you now?
Jarus: All of the people I mentioned above, but as of recent I’m really enjoying works from Benjamin Bjorklund, Alex Kanevsky and Ryoko Tajari.
1x: If you could collaborate with any living artist who would it be and why?
Jarus: Hard to pick just one, but anyone with a developed abstract style would be a nice compliment to painting figures and portraits.
1x: What was the first piece of art that you bought? Do you still have it?
Jarus: I bought a painting from Vladimir Kraynyk (Kels) when I was 17 to help support him. I still have it and regard it as one of the best paintings I’ve ever seen and owned.
1x: What was the last piece of art that you bought?
Jarus: I bought a piece off of Benjamin Bjorklund recently. I have learned so much from watching him post paintings that I needed to support him and have one to look at more closely.
1x: Any big shows or events coming up that you’d like to share?
Jarus: About to start my South East Asia and Australia tour. Excited for lots of painting and adventures.
1xRUN: Where else can people find you?
Jarus: Instagram @youngjarus